By Jason Topp on 3 August 2011 (Updated 9 July 2014)
“What do you want to do this weekend?”
“I dunno, whatta you wanna do?”
*Shoulder shrug and sigh*
“I dunno; there’s nothing to ever do around here.”
I’ve had conversations like that many times in the past, but not anymore. I’m learning to appreciate the little things in life and enjoy living in the moment more. Too often when we think about “fun” things, we think of the expensive options like taking in a ballgame, going on vacation, or going to a concert. (See also: Best Travel Reward Cards)
Here’s a list to help free you from boredom without emptying your wallet this weekend.
1. Go to the Park
You can take your family or go with a friend. Swing on the swings like when you were a kid.
2. Watch the Sunset
Find a great spot in your community to catch the sunset. We have a lake by our house that offers some great views!
3. Pack a Picnic Lunch
Throw a picnic lunch together and find a shady spot to enjoy the day with your loved ones.
4. Play Board Games
5. Play Card Games
Invite a few friends over and have a card night.
6. Do a Road Rally With Friends
Get some friends together and go on a mobile scavenger hunt. The first one back with all things on the list wins! Losers have to buy dessert.
7. Go on a Digital Scavenger Hunt
Make it a digital scavenger hunt. Think of some creative, hilarious pictures you could take with people in the community, or check out this list for scavenger hunt ideas.
8. Throw a B.Y.O.E. Party
This stands of Bring Your Own Everything. Guests are encouraged to bring food and drinks to share. Or, check this post out for more frugal party ideas.
9. Have a Bonfire or Campfire in Your Backyard
Make s’mores and play campfire games.
10. Get Ice Cream
Hit up your local ice cream shop and indulge in your favorite dish! Our local Dairy Queen is located right on the lake, which ties in perfect with #2!
(Wise Bread Pick: Lello Gelato Junior Ice Cream Maker at Amazon)
11. Make a Romantic Dinner
Plan a romantic, candlelight dinner for your spouse or loved one. Romance need not be expensive! (See also: Romance on a Dime)
12. Grill Something New
Try a new grilling recipe. Recently I tried chicken breast stuffed with cream cheese, mozzarella cheese, basil, and tomatoes! Mmmm!
13. Go to the Museum or Zoo
Many times a local museum will have free or discount days. Zoos are fairly inexpensive if you pack your own lunch and avoid the unnecessary extras.
14. Scan Your Old Photographs
Take the weekend to go through your old photos and scan them into a digital file. You can even create digital scrapbooks! (See also: Save Memories With Cloud Computing)
15. Pretend You’re a Tourist in Your Community
Most folks rarely visit their own city’s tourist attractions. Take a weekend be a tourist in your own town.
16. Organize a Neighborhood Cleanup
Get friends and neighbors together to go and clean up a city block. Here are six steps toorganizing your own neighborhood cleanup.
17. Go to the Farmers Market
Communities will usually have farmers markets on the weekends where you can get locally grown produce. The food is fresh and delicious! Here’s a savvy guide to farmers markets.
18. Pick Strawberries or Other Fruit
Find a “U-Pick” spot to gather some fresh strawberries, blueberries, or other fruit and then…
19. Bake a Pie
Use the freshly picked fruit to bake a homemade pie! (Need help with the pie crust?)
20. Volunteer at a Soup Kitchen or Homeless Shelter
Organizations like these are always looking for volunteers. This will be one of the most rewarding things you could do this weekend and can possibly make a difference on your resume! (See also: Translating Volunteer Experiences to Workplace Credentials)
21. Invite Your Neighbors Over
With today’s busy pace, it seems harder to get to know our neighbors. Invite them overfor dinner or dessert and make an effort to know more about them.
22. Go Fishing
Grab the poles, find a pond, and cast those lines!
23. Go to the Beach
Hit the sandy shores for a little rest and relaxation. Just don’t forget to protect your skin! (See also: Ways to Protect Your Skin in the Summer)
24. Go to the Library
There are many benefits your local library has to offer besides just books. You can rent movies, page through magazines, or surf the net.
25. Host a Classic Movie Marathon
Invite friends over for a movie marathon featuring all the classics you remember from when you were growing up. Or, host a money movie marathon!
26. Rearrange the Furniture in Your House
My wife and I did this last weekend. I love the new look and feel of our living room now! Rearranging furniture doesn’t cost anything and adds a new flair to your place.
27. Write Out Your Bucket List and Pick One to Do
Brainstorm ideas for all the things you want to do in life, and pick one to do this weekend.
28. Put Together a Jigsaw Puzzle
When is the last time you put together a puzzle? Find one you like and get to it.
29. Volunteer to Babysit for Someone Who “Needs a Break”
I know many parents who would love for someone to offer a chance to take a break from the busyness of life. Many single parents hardly ever get a chance to get out and unwind.
30. Clean Out Your Closet and Donate to a Thrift Store
Go through your closets and declutter. Find items you can donate to your local Goodwillor another thrift shop.
31. Watch for Shooting Stars
Go on a star-gazing adventure. Grab a blanket and head to a park to lay and watch the stars. Here’s a meteor shower calendar to help.
32. Go on a Bike Ride
Bike to a location you’ve never been to before. Or, bring your bike to a town or city you’re unfamiliar with and create your own bike tour. Just be safe on your bike! (See also: Bicycle Safety in the City)
33. Take a Free Online Class
There are plenty of free online classes you could take to improve your skills in a certain area. Try your hand at investment classes if that interests you!
34. Write Out Your Life Plan
This one will take some thought but will be well worth it. Here’s a great resource from Michael Hyatt for helping you think through your life plan.
35. Set Three New Goals for Yourself
Related to the life plan is setting three new goals you’d like to accomplish in the new six to twelve months…and write them down!
36. Find a Community Play to Attend
Many local communities offer inexpensive theater productions.
37. Help Someone in Need
Lend a helping hand to a neighbor, co-worker, or friend.
38. Buy Food for the Homeless and Listen to Their Stories
It’s not always wise to give money to a homeless person, but you can buy food. Listen to their stories, and if possible, direct them to an organization that can help.
39. Go Bowling
Get some friends together and have a blast at the lanes!
40. Visit Garage Sales and Look for Deals
Take a friend or two, grab breakfast, and then hit the local garage sales to scan for deals.
41. Tour the Local Fire or Police Station and Thank Them for Their Service
A simple gesture can really mean a lot to the men and women who serve us on a daily basis!
42. Visit a Local Nursing Home and Engage With the Residents
Many elderly folks have great tales to tell. Listen to their stories and see what you can learn from them.
43. Plant a Garden
44. Go Dancing
Grab a few friends, put those dancing shoes on, and hit the local club.
45. Walk Through the Craft Store and Start an Art Project
Take your spouse or loved one to a craft store and each purchase a few crafts for a creative project. Or start a pine cone project!
46. Host a “Minute to Win It” Party
Invite a few friends over and challenge each other with some creative games based on the hit TV show.
47. Write a Letter to a Family Member You Haven’t Talked to in a While
When is the last time you sat down and wrote a letter? There’s something magical and nostalgic about the written word on paper. Send a letter to someone you haven’t talked to in a while and tell them how much you love them.
Hopefully these ideas are enough to get you started on a fun, cheap, and rewarding weekend!
What cheap, fun things are you planning to do this weekend?